Where I run in Sao Paulo

No, Im not talking about running from bandits or police, you silly goose!


High-five for all runners out there! I bet you, as I did, have seen places around the world that many non-runners miss. Running is a great way to explore cities. If you don’t run, these places are mostly great for walking too, and I highly recommend doing so if you are visiting Sao Paulo. The biggest South America city has a lot to offer on gastronomy and nightlife, but you might want to burn up those consumed calories during day time. Plus, it’s always a way to truly connect and feel like a local.

Click on the links for the running maps.

Parque Ibirapuera

Sao Paulo’s landmark park – like NYC’s Central Park and London’s Hyde Park – is the oasis amidst the chaos of the metropolis. Ancient trees, three lakes and plenty of coconut water stations make this 1.58 km2 green area a favorite. I like it for long runs, and sometimes rollerblading, but always on weekdays. Weekends and holidays can get very busy and not with the hottest Brazilian top-models you’d like to see: on my husband’s first time in Brazil I took him there, it was January 1st, and he had that feeling of ‘my whole life I thought Brazil had only pretty people’ destroyed.

Runners: Ibira has three different paths, that combined totalize 10km. The main one, asphalted and around the lake where everybody is, has approximately 3k. At the Cooper Path (exit the main path at the Leon Square to find its entrance), you can add 1.2k on an even greener environment. Plus at the Cooper Path might be the easier way to find the long ‘Grid Loop’. Jump the short wood railing to follow the beaten path that goes along the park’s limiting fences – that’s why the name ‘Volta da Grade.’ This last one is quieter and, if you don’t get lost, totals 6k.

√ Good for kids

√ Better on Weekdays

√ Safe

√ Also great for cycling, rollerblading or walking

√ Water Fountains

√ Bathrooms

√ Bike rental available

√ Easy (paid) parking


Sumaré Avenue

It’s my favorite for weekend runs (part of the avenue is closed for leisure on Sundays from 10AM to 4PM) as the parks around the city can get very crowded. If you are staying in Perdizes, upper Pinheiros (near Henrique Schaummann Ave) and even Vila Madalena, it can be your everyday quick 5km. Although car traffic is intense on the avenue itself, beautiful trees surround the bike path on the median, and cyclists are actually minorities in between the walkers and joggers.

Runners: it’s 2.5km from Henrique Schaumman all the way to the end, where Allianz Park (Palmeiras Stadium) is. 5k return, plus whatever you might need to walk to get there.

√ Avoid at night (or just don’t bring any valuables)

√ Also good for cycling and walking

√ Good on both weekdays and weekends

√ Not great parking; try at Praça Irmãos Karmam (located midway on Sumare Ave)


Parque Villa-Lobos

It’s a nice option for weekdays and shorter runs. It does have three cooper paths: the blue (2k), red (1.7k) and yellow (700m), but I always feel that Im running in circles there. It’s good if you wanna check out the area (Alto de Pinheiros is one of the prettiest neighborhoods in SP, with beautiful residential houses and full of trees. I like cycling to get there (you can use Faria Lima Ave’s bike path + Pedroso de Morais + Prof Fonseca Rodrigues) and doing a short run on sunny days for a little tanning (there isn’t much shadow). At night, it’s a point for skateboarders and rollerblading. Pretty cool.

It’s also near the train station Villa Lobos-Jaguare, but that train kind of stinks, literally.

√ Good for kids

√ Also good for rollerblading, walking and cycling

√ Bike rentals available

√ Better on Weekdays

√ Water Fountains

√ Bathrooms

√ Free and paid parking available on the surroundings


Parque do Povo

It a relatively new park, and it became quite beloved by paulistanos, probably because those living or working on busy Itaim Bibi were tired of going to Ibirapuera Park; Parque do Povo is nearer, specially for those closer to Vila Olímpia. The fact is: that heavily business/commercial neighborhood needed a green area, and the Parque do Povo is well maintained and wooded enough. I feel it’s best for HIIT than steady running, but it’s there and I have friends that love it. Might be a good alternative for weekends, but otherwise I still rather go to Ibira.

Runners: take the long path (yellow, 1.2k), exit on the red to add 400m, then exit on the green for more 800m, etc for a couple laps for a quick 5k. It might be boring for long runs.

√ Good for kids

√ Good on both weekdays and weekends

√ Good for rollerblading and skateboarding

√ Water Fountains

√ Bathrooms

√ Free/paid street parking on the surroundings





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